July 4, 2011

The U.S.-born rector of Ukraine's Catholic university said his country is "living in dark times" and accused state security services of placing him under surveillance.

"Our telephones are tapped — the stationary ones probably, the mobile ones certainly.

Lists of my telephone conversations have been shown to colleagues, and an assistant was followed through the city," said Father Borys Gudziak, rector of the Lviv-based Ukrainian Catholic University.

The university has around 1,400 full- and part-time students.

"I have seen fundamental change some in hopeless situations — from communism to an independent Ukraine, from growing authoritarianism to the Orange Revolution.

Although I believe we're living in dark times, I'm convinced the spirit and human dignity will prevail," he told Austria's Die Presse daily June 16.

He said the university students and faculty were "not a nest of radical revolutionaries. But we do try to be free."

The priest said other university staffers had received calls from the state security services asking about his activities.